Posts by Randall G. Holcombe
Randall G. Holcombe is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, the DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University, and author of the Independent Institute book Liberty in Peril: Democracy and Power in American History.
COVID-19 and Your Constitutional Rights


As federal, state, and local governments respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, citizens are being quarantined, governments are banning large gatherings of people, and international travel is being restricted. So far, domestic travel has not been restricted (except for those quarantined), but things are moving rapidly. One consequence of New York State’s ban on gatherings…
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Bear Market: Buying Opportunity?


It’s easy for stock market investors to be discouraged these days, with the market taking such a hit in the wake of the COVID-19 virus. But I’ve been told that a profitable stock market strategy is to buy low, sell high, and by that logic, today’s prices offer a much better deal to investors…
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Federal Confiscation Reflects Mission Creep and the Expanding Police State


In 2019, the Transportation Security Administration seized $181,000 in cash from an employee of a Tampa trucking company while he was going through a TSA checkpoint for a flight from Tampa to Cleveland. According to the employee and his employer, the worker was taking the cash to Cleveland to buy second-hand trucks for his…
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Capitalism: Getting Ahead and Staying Ahead


Joseph Schumpeter described capitalism as a process of creative destruction, and an economic system that is always changing, never stationary. He called capitalism an evolutionary process and said the engine that keeps the economy advancing is entrepreneurship. In a capitalist economy, people get ahead by being entrepreneurial: looking for ways to create value for…
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Impeachment and Presidential Power


It is easy to conclude that the impeachment proceedings against President Trump are politically motivated. Both the House and Senate appear split on the issue along party lines, so the outcome that the president is impeached by the House but not convicted by the Senate seems a forgone conclusion. The Constitution is vague enough…
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Why Don’t Climate Change Alarmists Promote Nuclear Power?


In 2008 Al Gore said climate change threatens to “destroy the future of human civilization.” He continued, “We are facing a planetary emergency which, if not solved, would exceed anything we’ve ever experienced in the history of humankind.” To address the problem will “require us to end our dependence on carbon-based fuels.” Not everyone…
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President Trump and the Popularity of Socialism


The Cold War, which effectively ended thirty years ago with the collapse of the Berlin Wall, was a contest between the capitalist democracies of the West against the socialist dictatorships of the East. The result was a decisive victory for capitalism and democracy. Now, with the rise of self-described socialists like Bernie Sanders and…
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Is Elizabeth Warren’s Proposed Wealth Tax Constitutional?


When President Grover Cleveland tried to implement an income tax in 1894, the Supreme Court declared it to be unconstitutional because it violated Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution, which says taxes must be levied in proportion to a state’s population. In response, the supporters of income taxation passed the Sixteenth Amendment, ratified…
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“Medicare for All” Is Not Free Health Care


Milton Friedman said there’s no such thing as a free lunch. If some people are consuming health care, someone has to pay for it. But that’s not my point here. Many people think that Medicare for All would mean the government would pay for everyone’s health care, so those receiving health care would have…
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Elizabeth Warren’s Proposed Wealth Tax


People tend to view taxes in one of two ways. One view is that taxes are the price people pay for government goods and services. The other is that taxes are a penalty levied on people who earn income or have wealth. Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax takes the second view.

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